Academic journal article Antipodes

Self-Portrait with Statue

Academic journal article Antipodes

Self-Portrait with Statue

Article excerpt

pergamon Museum, Berlin

i follow a couple

of dozen Japanese, battered

guide-books in hand, tour-partying

hard, through a gross

or two of broken statues,

but remain undistracted

by antiquity, thinking only

of you, less distantly past.

Between the sightless busts

of ugly clever dead

white Greeks, Venus

rises, legless and headless,

and i am breathless,

the goddess wears

your nakedness exactly,

a size-10 marble fit

of light-boned shoulders

and heavier clovenpeach,

the lesser drunken

peaches of your breasts,

your waist that is halfgirl,

half-woman, like

the mixed-up parts

of some pre-socratic

beast: a centaur or

a minotaur, an echidna

or a sphinx. the Japanese

speak in riddles,

the Greeks stay mute,

as i lose my own

hard head, and bend

and take a stone breast

whole into my mouth.

Lo, it is peach again.

the philosophers crack

a smile, at last, given

something less solid

to think about, the tourists

click their nikons, already

planning Lecture tours

at home-Varieties of Religious

Experience in the New Berlin-

but i am back with you

in a golden age two thousand

minutes ago, and counting,

trance-travelling until

a statue sitting in a Bauhaus

chair speaks out-

Mein Herr! …

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